June 22, 2011
When I gaze across the ocean, I can see watery expanses of aqua stretching to the horizon. But I can’t see the life beneath. The swimming fish, seaweed and swirling sand are all invisible to me from above.
Sometimes that’s how I like to keep it with my spiritual life. It’s my default mode to keep even my closest girlfriends skimming the surface of my life. Nothing to see here, just some salty water. And to be perfectly honest, I’m much more comfortable with other people’s surface waters than their murky depths.
But I know God didn’t create me to live a life of emotional isolation. He would’ve put us all on our own individual deserted islands if that were his intention. Nope, he wants us to let each other in. Maybe not everyone, but a few trusted souls. And let them in deeply.
When I am vulnerable and share thoughts or feelings I’m sure I shouldn’t have with a godly friend, and I accept the encouragement she offers me, I know God is at work. Recently I shared a struggle and my friend began asking me questions I hadn’t considered before. In a gentle way, she rebuked me for a sin I hadn’t even seen in myself. I walked away with a new perspectiveand action to take instead of wallowing in self-pity.
The reverse situation is equally powerful. When a girlfriend shares her struggles with me, my heart instantly softens and the Holy Spirit seems to take over, giving me helpful words to say. On occasion those words are firm, which makes me uncomfortable. But we all need firmness delivered in love sometimes. Like Paul said to Timothy:
Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. -2 Timothy 4:2
Questions for Reflection
- Has anyone ever trusted you with a fear or secret sin? How did you respond to that person?
- Is there something you’re holding inside right now that keeps nagging at your soul? If so, can you think of one person you trust to share it with?
- What would be the worst thing that could happen if you shared? What would be the best thing that could happen?
- If you trust Jesus as your Savior, do you trust that you are completely forgiven, even for any current sinful thoughts or actions?
- If you’re not sure about Jesus, what research can you do to discover the truth about him?